It was adopted in 1962 with words and music composed by George Wilberforce Kakoma.
Before independence in 1962, a committee was formed to choose Uganda’s national symbols. A contest was held to determine the national anthem; the criterion for the entrants was that the compositions had to be “short, original, solemn, praising and looking forward to the future.” Despite having received several compositions, none were deemed suitable. The head of the committee then asked George Kakoma, a graduate of Trinity College of Music and Durham University in London, to compose an anthem. Kakoma came up with the anthem within a day and it was declared the winner in July of that year, a few months before independence; the short length of the work (it is only nine measures in length, one of the shortest national anthems in the world) was one of the biggest advantages it had in being selected.
Oh, Uganda! may God uphold thee,
We lay our future in thy hand;
United, free for liberty
together we'll always stand.
Oh, Uganda! the land of freedom,
Our love and labour we give;
And with neighbours all
At our country's call
In peace and friendship we'll live.
Oh, Uganda! the land that feeds
By sun and fertile soil grown;
For our own dear land,
We'll always stand,
The Pearl of Africa's Crown